Tag Archives: Essay/Memoir

Lunchero by Larry Strauss

tacos truck

I used to think the school at which I taught should have been named Rodney Dangerfield High because nobody got any respect. Oppressive rules treated students like babies. Weapons checks regarded them as criminals. Teachers faced overcrowded classrooms with shamefully inadequate resources and endured blatant—and often profane—rudeness from students and endless interruptions from everyone. We—the teachers—disregarded administrative rules as a matter of course. Other high schools and the district as a whole disdained us because we were small and had no football team, because our basketball team had a reputation for fighting and mayhem (because … Continue reading Lunchero by Larry Strauss

The Yellow House by Judy Longley

tiger swallowtail butterfly

Sleep bears me to the farmhouse slanted on a steep hill, commanding the highway below. Yellow clapboard and fieldstone constructed after the Civil War, the first floor a single room of stone, fireplace centering it. I warm my hands at the stone hearth—a rosemary bush flames silver-blue tongues, new stems uncoiling as fast as they burn. Through pungent smoke shades appear: my children young again, interrupted in their play, John, my professor husband with his eternal scatter of books, friends, just passing through and the ghost we all tolerated. A woman we agreed, wearing white … Continue reading The Yellow House by Judy Longley

Her Apron Full of Crinkle Root by Roselyn Elliot

crinkle root leaf and root

Make yourself useful! Rock the baby, feed the baby. Move away from that radio, before I pull both your ears and unplug the thing forever. Today, I’ll teach you how to make pickles. First, go to the garden and pick enough cucumbers to fill this pan. Then I’ll show you how to wash them and make the pickling juice. Go, before your mother comes back. Do this for me. My father supported his widowed mother. Dad was Grandma’s baby, her youngest of seven, and he brought her to live with him and my mother on … Continue reading Her Apron Full of Crinkle Root by Roselyn Elliot

Dear Johnny… by Margaret Thacker


I read your obituary in the paper today. It said you were 49 years old when you died. You left to mourn a wife, three children, one grandchild, a sister, and foster parents who steered you in the right direction. You worked for a construction company and were a volunteer fireman. It had been so long since I’d seen you. I was nine and you were ten. You came to school mid-year, after everyone had been assigned a desk and knew their place on the bus. I was in third grade and you were in … Continue reading Dear Johnny… by Margaret Thacker

If You’re Here With Us, Give Us a Sign of Your Perversion by Stev Weidlich


My wife is a ghost hunter. Actually, my wife considers herself more of a Paranormal Anthropologist. But, essentially, she’s a ghost hunter. And if that makes you think of poorly socialized men on basic cable running around decrepit buildings in the dark, adorned with over-moussed fauxhawks, poorly groomed goatees, and overdeveloped vanity muscles, then you’re in the ballpark. My wife does tend to bump around decrepit buildings or other structures in the dark. However, she doesn’t tend to run screaming from strange noises and the word “Bro” is noticeably absent from her vocabulary. As part … Continue reading If You’re Here With Us, Give Us a Sign of Your Perversion by Stev Weidlich

Eyeclops by Grace Maselli


His single working eyeball strained left to meet my gaze, protruding slightly from the taught skin around his eye. Walter the electrician and I stood diagonal to each other, looking through the glass door of my rental house. “I’m here to check the wires,” he said, muffled through the glass. Not long before he showed up I had sent an email to my property manager: “A snow storm is on the way. My kids have no heat or lights in their bedrooms. It’s been three days since I called you with the problem. Three days … Continue reading Eyeclops by Grace Maselli

Chairs by Andy Bockhold


Andy’s first canoe trip down the Little Miami River was the same day his mother was set to come home from the hospital after a major bowel resection. A week earlier surgeons had opened her up from navel to groin to remove necrotic portions of her lower intestines that had shriveled up like rotten calamari and blocked her from passing anything thicker than water. Once they were finished inside, they cinched her open wounds together and stapled them shut. She now had a train track-like incision complete with railroad ties running down her stretched pink … Continue reading Chairs by Andy Bockhold

Why People Love Woody Allen by Joe Arton


In November of 2011, PBS aired the latest addition in their American Masters series; Woody Allen: A Documentary. Robert Weide’s celebrity profile of Allen was a thorough and nuanced examination of his life and work. Aside from Weide’s unprecedented access to the pathologically private star, the documentary’s combination of star study, textual analysis and cultural context makes it one of the most important works on Allen and a triumph of the celebrity documentary form. However, in the film’s almost two hour running time, divided over two consecutive nights, it failed to answer a central question … Continue reading Why People Love Woody Allen by Joe Arton

Blue Coat by Dania Rajendra


The blue coat is slung over my arm, and I consider it against the long row of our walk-in closet. I do own four other coats, but this one was a gift from my once-closest friend Cue. I contemplate whether, at the landmark age of twenty-nine, I am now too old to wear fake blue fur. I hope not. I loved this coat so much that a few years ago, I paid a tailor at my neighborhood dry cleaning joint fifty bucks to reline it. Fifty bucks and he used the cheapest of polyester and … Continue reading Blue Coat by Dania Rajendra

Jemima Wilkinson, Elusive Messiah by Robert Boucheron


Jemima Wilkinson (1752-1819) was born in Cumberland, Rhode Island of Quaker parents, the eighth of twelve children. When she was about twelve years old, her mother died after giving birth. These facts might go far to explain Wilkinson’s career as a revivalist preacher, advocate of celibacy, leader of a millennial sect, and founder of a utopian community. Or they might not. Called the first American-born woman to found a religious group, Wilkinson is a rare figure in the history of faith, and one of the most elusive. Starting two years after her death, Wilkinson has … Continue reading Jemima Wilkinson, Elusive Messiah by Robert Boucheron